The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel
When local prosecutor Autopsy Bliss publishes an invitation to the devil to come to the country town of Breathed, Ohio, nobody quite expects that he will turn up. They especially don’t expect him to turn up as a tattered and bruised thirteen-year-old boy.
Fielding, the son of Autopsy, finds the boy outside the courthouse and brings him home, and he is welcomed into the Bliss family. The Blisses believe the boy, who calls himself Sal, is a runaway from a nearby farm town. Then, as a series of strange incidents implicate Sal – and riled by the feverish heat wave baking the town from the inside out – there are some around town who start to believe that maybe Sal is exactly who he claims to be.
But whether he’s a traumatised child or the devil incarnate, Sal is certainly one strange fruit- he talks in riddles, his uncanny knowledge and understanding reaches far outside the realm of a normal child, and ultimately his eerily affecting stories of Heaven, Hell, and earth will mesmerise and enflame the entire town.
Devastatingly beautiful, The Summer That Melted Everything is a captivating story about community, redemption, and the dark places where evil really lies.
‘Tiffany McDaniel’s The Summer That Melted Everything is a wonderfully original, profoundly unsettling, deeply moving novel that delivers both the shock of fully realized reality and the deep resonance of parable. This is a remarkable debut by a splendid young writer.’
– Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
‘Sometimes there is a novel so strange and beguiling it makes you give up your world for another world, all the while that you are reading it. Such a story is Tiffany McDaniel’s tale of an enchanted boy – who might be the devil – welcomed into a family with no right to their name, Bliss. It will frighten you, and charm you, and break your heart if you allow it … and you will allow it, because once this world has hold of you, it won’t let you go.’
– Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times bestselling author The Deep End of the Ocean (the very first Oprah Book Club selection) and Two if by Sea